|Michael Cormick and Julie Lea Goodwin|
Free Rain Theatre.
Canberra Theatre until 23rd August
Reviewed by Bill Stephens
The thundering organ, the crashing chandelier, Christine and the Phantom in a fogbound candlelit boat in the bowels of the opera house, all make their appearances in Free Rain theatre’s much anticipated production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Phantom of the Opera”. Producer Anne Somes has mined considerable resources to come up with an impressive production that captures much of the spectacle and excitement of perhaps the most successful musical ever written.
Central to the success of the production are the thrilling performances of the two principals, Michael Cormick and Julie Lea Goodwin. Cormick’s "Darth Vaderish" Phantom prowls the stage zapping anyone who gets in his way in a wildly melodramatic, superbly sung, performance.
|Julie Lea Goodwin as Christine Daae|
As the beautiful Christine, the object of the Phantom’s passion, Julie Lea Goodwin matches Cormick both vocally and melodramatically to portray the woman torn between her fascination of the Phantom and her love for her fiancé, Raul, (David Pearson).
Under the deft direction of David Harmon, the large local cast of singers, dancers and actors provide strong support with stand-out performances from Tony Falla and Michael Moore as the theatre managers, Christine Wallace as the fiery Carlotta and Bronwyn Sullivan as the mysterious Madame Giry.
|Julie Lea Goodwin as Christiine Daae and dancers in "Masquerade"|
Startling pyrotechnics, impressive lighting and special effects, colourful costumes, and a set design which allows the smooth transitions between the many scenes, together with a stunning orchestra under the direction of Ian McLean, combine to make this must-see production a triumph for all concerned.
This review appears in the August 15th print edition of CITY NEWS